Day 10: Bites, spider. Bites, fly. Check.

The morning started with spider patrol. Apparently the Witchy Boobs attracts ravenous spiders as well as Carmens; a sweep of the boat must have dislodged 10 or 20 or maybe a 100…

Some stale baguette with butter and jam and I was good to go. Unfortunately the statement “We’ll leave first thing” means something different to Leslies… Something like “We’ll leave whenever I’m ready.” Eventually, after being ‘reminded,’ she was ready.

A lot more locks today but we got into the swing of it and I think upstream is actually easier in some ways. The bugs however were making the maneuvers a bit iffy. Hard to bring about in evenly when you are swatting horseflies out of your face. Carmen went on a bit of a rampage and was spewing testosterone after the kills. It wasn’t pretty. Except Carmen is pretty. So I guess it was pretty pretty…

I also moved the helm inside to stay out of the sun. It is a bit more social as well so C won’t get so squirrelly without Zak. And I get my bugs killed.

Laundry was also in the cards. While the crew was busy roping the locks, I washed some clothes and hung them to dry. At which point Carmen pointedly pointed out with her poinky nose that I had failed to dry the pants properly. So she fixed it. Then she asked if I minded. That’s how I know Carmen hasn’t been left behind and we are cruising with an alien substitute.

Just after Detwiller we passed the Italian family that had been docked near us in Strasbourg and again in Waltenheim. Just beyond then a Nautilia with a German family was flailing mid canal so I passed them. Turns out they were just dropping the parents off to bike into Saverne.

They followed us the rest of the way do we had to share the lock. This changes the dynamic as we have pull forward past the ladder and the lock control. All I can say is the two non-teenaged ladies that form my crew kicked some German 20-something ass. Soundly.

Crush, crush, crush… and hah!

Pulling into Saverne I cruised slowly looking for a spot in the marina. No luck but we’d thought we were going tie up beyond the lock anyway. As I slowed
Down the kids passed us and we followed them into the very deep lock in the middle of Saverne. Again our technique was flawless. A couple of hundred yards down we once agin outshone them in our docking maneuver. Man are we ever good… or maybe insecure… hard to tell the difference actually…

We closed up the boa and headed back to the lock and the patio we’d seen there. It was closed. A quick walk around found a fruiterie where I bought a 22 Euro bottle of Riesling and 6 Euro bottle of Pinot Blanc. A record. A loaf du pain, another baguette and we stopped at a local brasserie for a round of Panaché. That’s right, Leslie had a beer (with lemonade)! We are sitting with the locals in the sidewalk watching tourists wander by… we almost feel at home.

Speaking of which, I almost feel relaxed. Day 10 and I think holidays are starting to kick in. A few days with nothing going wrong and maybe I can officially declare the resting has begun.

The Dutch couple, Du Maurier and his wife have apparently been sailors all their lives. They have ‘retired’ to the canals after decades on the ocean Leslie mentioned that she thought cruising the West Coast might be more palatable if we were motoring and she was not having to worry about sailing. With the amount of cruising in the canals I have been doing I would feel
Pretty comfortable on a motor cruiser without that much more experience. I will have to check out the charter rates when I get back. It might be a compromise until I can find someone who wants to sail. Boats are boats and it would actually mirror our present experience pretty closely. And, as Du Maurier’s wife said, it’s actually easier on the crew.

Tonight we eat aboard. Pasta and whatever meat the crew can scrounge up. I left them in town to hunt something down as I returned to the boat to guard the wine. There’s a hot sun but a cool breeze so it should be pretty nice.

Well apparently we haven’t figured out French hours. The crew returned hours and hours later with more wine and hinting at the lack of meat. But they were pulling my sea legs and Leslie had found her sausage and was willing to share.

I continued to crash on the deck in the sun and Carmen whipped up a pasta and sausage dish to die for. Next year we will just hire her on as cook. We enjoyed the Pinot Blanc and then discovered the expensive Riesling was both only 500ml and sweet. But a good sweet. With a good finish.

After dinner Carmen napped and Leslie did dishes and I napped and dried. Cause I’m pretty damned talented. Soon all was preparé and we disembarked for town and dessert. Seems the town shuts down pretty early cause the first restaurant wouldn’t offer dessert and everything but our friend Fritz was closed, so Fritz it was.

Leslie had a creme brûlée that the waiter lit at the table, C went for the tart Tarte (apricot she said), and I thought I was having mousse but it turned out to be a lava cake. A carafe d’eau and a demi of Pinot Gris rounded it off. A quiet walk back to the boat, some candles, and Leslie’s techno-crap on the speakers brought the evening to a quiet end.

Brasserie L’Ami Fritz